Tag Archives: museum Termas-da-Azenha

A fairy as inspiration for a new mosaic

Some guests are having such a good time that I spontaneously shout things like: “Oh, and I love you for it!” It was not a shout by itself. That was the answer to: “We couldn’t get ourselves to go. So we stayed.” The fairy laughs: “It’s all the time: one more day. Let’s do one more day.”

And that comment came because I walked through the sala de convívio – the big room, and saw them sitting at “their” table. They’d been there for a week.

Not full time at the table of course.

They also sat by the pool. And they also went shopping. And did a workshop mosaic

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That’s how I like to see it.

It was a pleasant atmosphere in the big hall in the evenings

This couple was sitting at “their” table, one family was playing table tennis, another family was playing a game at the dining tables on the other side of the room, and a man was picking out a book by the book tower.

In the meantime, I was doing the things I have to do. Washing, keeping the swimming pools clean, topping up (Belgian) beer in the bar fridge, answering the e-mail – of the things that every holiday holiday rental and B&B owner must do.

And in the meantime, I fervently wished that the guest who looked like a fairy would also be a real one, and make my wish come true.

My wish was that all the mosaic created so far would be perfectly grouted to the facade of the bathhouse

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Grouting is the least fun thing about mosaics, you are always working on it much longer than you think – even if you think that you will be working on it much longer than you think, it will be even longer.

You get it: not my favorite thing to do.

The result of the grouting, on the other hand, is great. The very last fase is cleaning, but that is usually a piece of cake. Although it is regularly “forgotten”, because after a few hours of grouting you have pain in muscles you didn’t even know you had, and you have those warm bath wrinkles in your other hand. At that point, you don’t feel the need much to wipe that wall once more with a clean dry cloth.

I’m of course talking about a big wall now. Not about a piece of art that you make during a mosaic workshop to take home

My other wish was (can’t you always make 3 wishes if you come across a fairy?) to start with the Dragon. That piece of wall that I had a problem with a few weeks ago, but for which a wonderful idea had fallen out of the sky.

I was eager.

Finally I had a Sunday afternoon, and then another Tuesday morning, and to top it all off, another Wednesday evening. There he was! Finally!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

The Portuguese take good care of their children

It’s well arranged here, with maternity leave and so on. All other European countries could follow the portuguese example! Mother was allowed to stop working at 4 months. After the child is born, they both stay at home – father for a month, mother for 5 months.

How do I know that? Why would I tell you about that? What do you care about maternity leave in Portugal?

Well, I have breaking news! I have become grandmother for a very tiny little bit!

What do you mean, you ask, how comes that about?

Well, it started like this:

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This is developing as a friendship for life

My youngest son Broes and João Pedro became friends in the first class of the little school, here in Pedrógão. The school existed of 1 classroom, 8 children, and 1 teacher for 4 classes. That was not abnormal for the outskirts in Portugal.

Until about 10 years ago all those schools were kept open. There should be at least 3 children attending. This one closed its doors when JP and Broes had finished fourth grade, and moved to high school.

JP went to Louriçal, Broes to Paião. But they still played regularly

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In Paião, Hugo and Adam joined the group of friends. My eldest son Fausto was of course part of the group. They were all hanging out here, sitting at the large table in the reception (in the separate hang-out section), where they were regularly chatting, joking, gaming, and shouting orders (that’s a part of gaming: “Kill! Kill!”” Go! Go! I’m right behind you! “- and the game that growls back: “So here we fight! You’re going to die!”)

They still play, even though they’re adults now

The group has fallen apart. Adam’s in Ireland, Fausto in the Netherlands, but Broes and Hugo still live in Termas-da-Azenha. João Pedro has also lived here for years, so it feels a bit like he’s a son as well.

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About three years ago he met his great love and moved out to live with her. And now they’ve just had their first child. A beautiful baby boy. Before you know it, all of them are again playing at the table in the reception, because the “grown-up” boys have never stopped doing that. JP comes by regularly, and then there they go again.

In a few years, I bet he’ll be taking his son with him!

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And then the day came. There he is, world citizen number so much.

Cute, isn’t it, a baby? Isn’t he a beautiful boy?

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

The Mother of the water and a misunderstanding

blog_the-mother-of-the-water-and-a-misunderstanding The engineer beckons us to come in. That’s not too bad, it goes smoother than we thought. “We” in this case is my neighbour Josué and I.

(Josué is not really my neighbour, but the farmer who works the adjacent fields. When they’re done working, they often stop by for a cold beer, because working on the fields is dusty and warm. See the photo below.)

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We’re on the road to clear up a misunderstanding about the upcoming change of the Mother of the water

My neighbour was quite excited about recent developments. And not in a good way.

The entire valley is being re-organized. It’s the subject of discussion in many families in the neighbourhood. The Mother of all discussions, you could say, because there are many farmers in this area, and it’s their livelihood.

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Re-arranging fields was not a bad idea, because over the centuries the valley has become a quilt of small pieces of fields, one for each of the heirs. A piece was sold here, a ditch was changed there, because waterways are inscrutable. At a certain point, it was completely unlogical how everything was split up.

As a result, the owner of a piece of land on one side of the valley had to get on his tractor to go to the other side, to his piece of land. And since the valley has many owners, re-allotment would be the only solution

Because of course it wasn’t about one owner. It’s a big valley, and everyone has their share. Meetings were announced, to which all owners were invited, to inform everyone about the upcoming changes.

It is quite an operation, the re-allotment of 330 hectares

According to Josué – I call him the neighbor because he works on the adjacent fields – a mistake has been made, and the engineer wants to dig a ditch straight through his land, and place a watertank on our grounds. A tank to irrigate your plants or trees. Not necessary for us. The few trees on the campsite manage themselves well, standing next to a ditch. Not for neighbour Josué either. For the 2.5 hectares that he cultivates, you need a different caliber watering system.

So we had to go for it. This is how it works in Portugal. It doesn’t help to call; seeing someone in person does.

On the way to Montemor-o-Velho, where the engineer has his office, Josué got even more worked up: “Those bureaucrats are all the same,” he shouts, which I found difficult to deal with, because almost over the pain threshold in that small space that a car is, “He’s behind his desk, and what does he know about the real situation?!”

Now I better not start talking about bureaucrats, because otherwise the two of us would be both screaming and shouting in that car – with frustration.

I therefore withhold from further comment, and try to think about a kind of plan

“We will do it as follows, Josué: he has to explain it to me, because to be honest I don’t quite understand it yet, with that Mother of the water (“Mãe da água ” – the start of a new spring, one of the many Mothers in this watery area) and that tank, and then we’ll see. In any case, I’m not paying 85 euros annually for a tank that I didn’t asked for and that I don’t need.”

“Okay, so you’re going to pretend you’re dumb?” Josué asks and looks at me with appreciation. “Yes, fine, let’s do that. He needs to come by to see what it’s all about.”

Once inside the engineer’s office it’s much easier than the scenario for which we have prepared ourselves

The engineer is a friendly man who’s willing to come by tomorrow. Does that too. Ten o’clock the next morning I hear Josué calling: “O Helena! Helena!” (*)

(this was on another day, a cool beer after work!)

The friendly engineer now fully understands the point. Technical thingy went wrong. The Mother of the water will pass under the road and will be led to a transit ditch. The ditch straight through Josué’s field is canceled, and the watertank ditto.

Problem solved in 10 minutes.

Deep sigh.

(*) Ellen is a weird name in portuguese. Twenty years ago it was translated spontaneously. Since then I am "Helena of the Termas".

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

Flow, let go, and now: hold tight, holidaymakers!

“I feel my nerves tighten again,” says the mother of two beautifully dressed daughters at the breakfast table, “that is the approaching departure. The end of our camping holiday. ”

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I know the feeling. You probably too. It’s my fault she feels those nerves coming up.

Please: breathe, relax, let go …

When I came to bring them their fresh cup of coffee, we had a chat about the last holiday-day, and what that does to you, and I said: “The last holiday I remember, everything was very relaxed, and the last day I was running again, doing everything at once: brushing my teeth while I was sitting on the toilet, putting on my shoes at the same time, and simultaneously throwing the last things in my suitcase. Well, then you know: you’re on your way, back to your normal life.”

The anecdote apparently triggered her nerves, but please, let it go! I certainly didn’t want to stress you out

I immediately try to correct my mistake: “No, not necessary. You were just so relaxed. The best holidaymakers ever. You’re very good at that – you don’t need to stress! I’m sorry!”

It’s not that you go back to a hard and miserable life. You’re content and happy with your normal life – isn’t that so for most people? Here and there a difficulty, a thing, sometimes a disaster or a drama, but in general we lead a pleasant life at home.

I have never done any scientific research, but I have a strong suspicion that I’m quite right with this statement.

And this Belgian family is definitely champion in the area of relaxation

I was busy with my mosaic yesterday afternoon (curious? Read the previous blog) and was hiding behind the shadow net that serves as a door to my mosaic spot. My mosaic spot is near the pool, and the sun is shining on it in the afternoon. That’s why I tried to stay in the shade.

Family Champion Relax was in the pool. Dad, mom, and their two daughters of 6 and 4. The youngest learns to swim with the help of an ingenious floating vest, and a diving mask with a nose. I like that a lot. It’s new, and it seems effective, but sometimes it has a comical effect.

(Not on these girls though, they look cute in everything, they’re the lucky ones!)

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I totally missed the visual – hidden behind my shadow net – but the audio was pleasant. I was enjoying the flow of a well-running mosaic, grabbing one after the other exactly-fitting piece, with that pleasant chat in the background.

Everyone with young children knows it, this ongoing, flowing conversation about anything and nothing. Very harmonious, very cozy, it brings out the best in everyone

I couldn’t understand it, they were just a little too far away for that, and I was just a little too much in my flow. But I could distinguish the various languages. Flemish of course, the language of the country where they live, but also Spanish. The language of daddy. And in between French to their french neighbours. And en passant a few French sentences to the daughters.

Who understood it all, and cheerfully went along with all the language changes

Great, if you grow up in such a bilingual or trilingual way! That is a beautiful gift that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. The splashing and sniffing sounds of a child who’s just learning how to swim and is doing her very best, are universal though, and not language-related.

Perhaps their capacity of relaxation has to do with culture. Perhaps this family is champion because they are a two-component family, with Southamerican and Belgian roots. Who knows? There’s no scientific research on that.

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I secretly hope that this family – just like all the others who’ve been here – will be able to embed that level of relaxation in their daily life. Take your holiday home! (And leave your work at work.) That you’ll still be able to chat about everything and nothing with your children just as nicely back home. That you can sleep in from time to time. That you’re all going to do some nice things together, and you don’t even have a plan.

Don’t let it go, dear guests! Instead: hold tight! Keep it like this as long as possible!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

The mother of mosaics

I love a challenge.

It is only a piece of 42 by 95 centimeters, but it feels very decisive for the rest. Where writers sometimes suffer from writer’s block and stare anxiously at the white paper, I now suffer from a mosaicer’s block and stare anxiously at that piece of white wall.
You can only do it once. Then it’s stuck.

But now I am stuck.

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Interestingly enough, I learn a lot from my mosaic students

Not always of course – they usually learn more from me during the mosaic workshops. That is ultimately the intention. But sometimes people do things that surprise me. I find it surprising that everyone makes something completely different, with exactly the same ingredients. Tiles, glue and a plasterboard.

You don’t need much to make something beautiful.

It started a while ago. The overarching theme is everywhere: fairy tales. Not the usual one Disney has already rui … excuse me, used, but unknown ones. In the mena time, they’re well known to me, because I once borrowed this book from my sister and never returned it (sorry Mathilda! Now you finally know!). I thought it were such beautiful stories, and it stimulated my imagination.
You can tell, because I have had it since I was six.

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Together with my mosaic buddy Astrid and enthusiastic volunteer Viola we started above the entrance to the main hall.

If you work together with people, it’s useful to communicate with pictures. Otherwise it becomes very difficult to explain what kind of images you have in your mind.

I often recommend that to mosaic workshoppers

Do you want to make a dolphin? Look for a picture, preferably a drawing, so that you have the silhouette. That is ultimately what it is all about. Now the last mosaicists wanted something different: a colorful heart (a familiar shape, especially for young girls), a butterfly (here a drawing comes in handy), and the portrait of the youngest daughter (you can do this by heart – and the daughter’s right next to you).

You don’t need a drawing, because that image is engraved in your heart, of course. That is, if you are her mother. I thought it was a daring project for a first time mosaic, but as you can see it worked beautifully! The most important thing for me was the choice of background.

I generally do not interfere with anything – that is, I have the material and the knowledge, but I stay away of the design- and color choices. That is up to the maker. I always hated it when my boys went to “craft” at school – that usually meant that the teacher had everything ready, and that they had to stick it together a bit and then color it.

All very bland. Also something I learned from!

Mother chose a very busy pointilistic tile as the background. Okay. I didn’t have to bite my tongue, but I had to restrain myself from saying that I wasn’t going to say anything about it. But I didn’t say that! Well done!
And afterwards I’m very content, because it is beautiful.

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And it is inspiring. Learned something again. The only challenge for me now is to overcome that mosaicer’s block, find the right tiles, and then come up with those 42 by 85 centimeters!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Last minute holidays – a favourable opportunity

It’s high season, but it’s a bizarre quiet high season. That’s because you lot have a great summer up there in the north. The second time already! It’s not fair! We had the option on great weather. Luckily, we have more to offer then only great weather, and since a short period of time we also have a favourable opportunity in the form of a last-minute.

After yesterday’s hustle & bustle, I have an afternoon to continue the recently started mosaic project today.

After all, we have started another favourable opportunity recently, remember?

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I was already craving to go on with it yesterday, but that was impossible.

Sixteen people for “Pizza-da-Mamma Night”, and a French family for the Portuguese stew. That means: starting after lunch with the preparations, otherwise people are still waiting for their pizza at half past eight. And with quite some small children, it’s better to eat around 7.

It went smoothly. We have quit some experience working together in the kitchen, Broes and me

We’re an unbeatable team in the kitchen. No complaining, no messing around. “What needs to be done now?” he asks after cutting the onions, and I say: “Why don’t you actually become a cook?”

“Do you know how much stress that is?” he asks, “I actually understand Gordon Ramsey – with all that shouting and swearing.”

Anyway, everyone was happy yesterday, and I have an easy day today. Time to glue some pieces on the wall!

I’m working close to the entrance of appartment One. Johan comes out (this family’s here for the third time already, so we know eachother a bit better) and says: “It’s going to be so beautiful! The nice thing about it is that you see the changes every year. More mosaic every time.”

I push a white strip to the wall and answer: “Yes, next time that you’re here it’ll be completely finished.” “Wow, the entire building mosaiced in a year? That’s quite a job!”

“Uh … well, depending on how long it takes before you come back …” I joke, “when you come back next year … I’m not sure, but when you would come with Julia and her family, and with Samuel and his family, and you, and you rent 3 houses here to have a nice holiday together with your adult kids and grandchildren, certainly not only this building, but the entire village will have been mosaiced … ”

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The recent cancellation returns in a flash

That wás such a situation. Daughter with family, son with family, and parents – who would spend a joint vacation here.

A great way to team up but have your own privacy as well. It’s perfect for it! They had booked Palmeira, Oliveira and appartment One. Palmeira and Oliveira are two houses next to each other. Appartment One has a garden for the dog, and an extra bedroom if one of the grandchildren wanted to sleep with the grandparents.

It went a little differently. The universe had something else in store for them

One beautiful morning, daughter was notified that she was hired – a new job she applied for right before the holiday. If she could start per immediately, please? Oops! Apparently it was a close-knit family / an impressive new job / until then a less pleasant holiday / a shock for everyone, but they all canceled because they all suddenly returned to Belgium.

When I was glueing I had time to think about that

Good news for the daughter! Congratulations on your new job! I found it impressive that son and parents also canceled for this reason, but you don’t know. Not all families are alike. Maybe they sympathize very much with each other. Maybe they really didn’t feel like having a joint holiday but felt obliged – and everything in between. They did not tell me that.

The main result for us now is that we have 3 empty houses for 3 weeks – meaning a favourable Last-Minute for somebody else!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Termas-da-Azenha from a different angle

They can say as much as they want, but I know what I know, and that’s it! I tell you that!

It’s cat. I’m never mistaken about that. Here in Termas-da-Azenha it smells like cat.

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And I’ve already seen that cat. It’s a sneaky thing. Sneaks around everywhere, as if he’s up to something. Eating my food for example. Wouldn’t surprise me!

No idea why they want to stay here again. I recognize it vaguely from last year, it’s the same smell, but a little bit different.

Here in the garden it is nice

Too bad about that cat smell. And everything is very high. You can’t even see the ceiling in the room. I only see hair. That’s how high it is. I prefer to sit under the garden table, with Woman.

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That’s safe, and it smells like home.

And I’m not allowed on the bed here either. Just like home. Or on the couch.

“To your own bed!” Woman then shouts, “of you go!” I actually don’t even try anymore.

That person who owns this is nice

She talks to me nicely. (Not like I’m a toddler. I’m an adult, I’m a big guy!) She smells okay. Her feet then, because that is again another huge end to look up to – but she comes down to pat me. That is allowed, because she’s nice. Just for a minute or so, then it’s enough for me.

Only recently she crawled across the floor behind the wall with that black flat box in front of her face, when Son Number One almost tripped over her but saw her just in time. She’s a bit weird. She wanted to secretly take a picture of me, it seemed.

She seems like – what’s that called again? – a paparazzi

Boss came to help, because of course I don’t listen to Son Number One. Then you can go on for ever doing what they say. Yes, if they’re going to do something fun, I’ll listen. But if I don’t like it anymore, I’ll go back to Woman as soon as I can. At least she understands me.

I did say goodbye to weirdo when we left

I feel that she also understands me a bit. Not entirely naturally, and certainly not like Woman, but she comes a bit in the right direction. She respects me. So I jumped out of the car to say goodbye. So that she could stroke me for a minute.

Nice place. Not like home, but it works.

Too bad about that cat.

I stick with it: it stinks!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Mosaic-making queens

Not only do you have two volunteers, you also get half the Dutch royal family, a Belgian high brow, a clone from Arnold Schwarzenegger and a drag queen. Not surprising, because Ylva does a theater study in Gent, and Roos is a good tempered and smart girl, interested in everything.

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Within a day we’re not only working on the new mosaic project, but meanwhile there is a lot of shouting, teasing, singing and making jokes.

They’ve been coming for years, these voluntary queens, and keep on doing that. And now mainly for mosaic-making

And they don’t just come to make jokes! What also happens: “Can I do anything else for you, my dear?”

That doesn’t happen every day! Not everyone asks that! Yes, sometimes as a formality, after which they continue to watch the blue void very intensely in exactly the other direction when you pass by with a heavy cupboard (based on a true story), but this is really meant. And if I do have something (I don’t always), they even do it too. With a smile.

“Do you want to see a photo of Henk?” Ylva asks. “Yes of course! A new love? ”Ylva raises her eyes to heaven and answers:“ Ooooo, he is sooooo sweet! ”

She picks up her phone and shows Henk

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Henk de Hamster. “Who has a hamster?” Roos asks, “what is special about that?” And Ylva shouts indignantly: “Hey, Calimero, do you want to stay calm? Henk is my darling, my everything, my sweetheart, you can’t say anything about him!”

They make jokes about me as a slave driver

My consolation is – as long as people make jokes about it, it’s not so bad. And the girls come voluntarily so it probably is not that bad.

“She decides,” Rose says, carefully articulating like the Dutch queen Máxima, “she’s the boss, so she may say it. But we think pretty pink is very pretty here. ”

We have started a new mosaic project

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A fairly ambitious project: the entire facade of the bathhouse on the village square side. The corner next to the cafe is now complete (thanks to Astrid, Andrea, Viola) who have glued many, many pieces.

Now it’s the turn of the rest of the facade. Above the kitchen and the entrance to the big room. We’re a bit in the way, but the guests present ensure us that they don’t mind and walk around it. Two more days. Then that scaffolding can go.

Just in time for August to start, the holiday month in Europe

For Ylva it’s no longer a holiday. She has to work. Earning money to be able to pay for the rest of the (study) year. And then come and help in your precious free time, laughing and joking and doing a lot of good things!

If you can’t call that a passion for life, I don’t know what is

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Run for your life – an epic marathon

The petition was offered to the minister last Thursday. Let’s hope it has an effect, because the effort has been great. Three-hun-dred-fif-ty-ki-lo-me-ters of running. I’m very impressed. I’m already bent over panting, when I’ve to run three hundred and fifty meters.

Olá, nurse Duarte Barbosa, your room is ready, just lie down! Have a drink? Don’t forget to enjoy the view, because that’s now at its best. Everything green and peaceful with a lot of storks and ibises in between. That’ll give you strength for the next 50 kilometers tomorrow.

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you have to leave very early in the morning

Running more than a marathon every day – respect!

From Porto to Lisbon, every day a part of at least the marathon distance. When Duarte Barbosa arrived here, it had been 50 kilometers. He came by taxi from Figueira da Foz, because he was supposed to go from hospital to hospital every day to collect signatures for this good cause.

The big goal of this marathon: improvement

Nurses suffer from work pressure, stress, underpayment and long hours. Now they want more salary, earlier retirement, shorter work weeks and recognition of their professionalism.

All things you read in the newspaper every day

How interesting …, you might think now, but Portugal is one of the lowest-paid countries in Europe, and that has consequences. A quarter of the portuguese have gone abroad – you can earn more there. In August there is a swarm of cars with an L on their behind: Luxembourg, the country where a third of the population is portuguese.

This is a sympathetic way of asking attention for your situation, don’t you think?

Very different from what, for example, the truckers did a while ago. They went on strike, and that was less fun, because they were no longer going to supply the gas stations. Within a day, there were kilometers of traffic jams for all gas stations.

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They failed to reach their goal, because they refused to supply the ambulance, police and fire department as an exception. If people can no longer go to the hospital, or the police have to cycle to an emergency, or your house burns down because the fire department can only throw buckets of water on the fire, you soon lose sympathy for your good cause. And their demands were pretty high. Doubling their salary, among other things.

A bit much.

The government immediately made plans to deploy the army

They received little sympathy from their fellow countrymen. Nobody will be happy if you are forced to spend hours in traffic jams, just to be able to fill up your car and all the jerrycans you could find so that you can go to work the next day.

This promotion demands more respect. Whether it will have the positive consequences required …. ?

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

… comes a dog at the doctor’s …

She sneaks away when she sees me coming. We won’t fall for that again – be very nice and kind, and then suddenly put you in a closed space that moves, and makes you extremely nervous and a bit sick. So scary! You don’t know what will happen. Those people are unpredictable.

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One moment they are friendly and kind to you, the next they grab you in your neck. Or you just walk somewhere, and you’re chased away. Or they put you on a chain. Or try to poison you. Everything is possible with those creatures on two legs.

It is in the DNA of animals, and especially Portuguese dogs, that you have to be very careful with people

I didn’t grab her for nothing: we’re going to the vet. Dr. Soares is the vet of the municipality, and a very kind and nice man. But she doesn’t know that yet.

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She is shivering in the back.

I just talk in a high soft voice: “Dontworrylovely, allswell, nothingwillhappentoyoudontworry, juststaycalmwe’regoingtohelpyou …”

With all those animals in the Termas – donkeys, cats and dogs in particular – I have seen quite a few veterinarians up close. From most of them, sorry to say, I have the impression that they’ve started to practice the profession not so much because of animal love, but more because you can earn nicely. Especially if you sell the medication with it. Some seem to be representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.

Now some dogs were not very good condition when I arrived

One in particular wasn’t very attractive – we called him Wolf, because he had a wolf’s head. That sounds nice, but the rest was a sheep, with very thick fur. Below he had the pink skin of a pig, one blue and one brown eye, and he was stupid as anything.

He probably had been chained all his life, because he had a piece of broken rope around his neck when I met him. At that moment I drove at full speed to trainstation Bifurcação de Lares to bring someone to the train, and when I saw him, I already knew that I couldn’t drive past him again on the way back.

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You come across some pathetic creatures, but this was one of the worst

It was a warm July day, and he walked completely mad with his thick sheepskin down the road. He was completely lost, literally and figuratively, but he was not agressive at all.

I went to see a number of veterinarians with him, along with my sister, who has impressive medical knowledge and said that a veterinarian could simply cut the ear a bit and sew it up again neatly. That would cure it. But all the vets looked at Wolf as if they saw an ebola-patient, and refused to even touch him. It wasn’t that bad anymore – we had already given him a bath.

Once, we even found a puppy in the garbage container! Surely a surprise, if you want to throw your garbage bag away, and a few adorable little eyes look up at you. We don’t want puppies anymore. It happened a few times, very cute and very sweet, but you have a lot of work with it.

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The last few years it has become less, all those lost dogs

Much more information is given, there is better care, and you can go to the municipal veterinarian if you want to adopt a lost dog or cat. Then the mandatory chip, passport and vaccination package costs little. Anyone can afford that, but you will be screened.

Logical, otherwise you’ll have many more cases of: “Comes a dog at the doctor’s …”

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

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